The biggest Intel Alder Lake leak suggests Core i9-12900K is coming November 4

Intel's logo in front of their booth at a tradeshow
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Intel processor launches are no stranger to sudden leaks. It was just earlier in 2020 when the Intel Core i7-11700K accidentally went on sale a month early, but now MSI has accidentally leaked the release date for the upcoming 12th-gen lineup. 

This all comes from a liquid cooling upgrade kit that MSI has posted on its website for people that are using one of its AIO coolers and want to upgrade to the new chips. And that upgrade option is only available starting on November 4, and runs until April 30 2022. That alone doesn't confirm that the new processors are actually launching that day, but according to Videocardz, the preorders about a week before that November 4 date – but take this with a grain of salt. 

This isn't too surprising, after all Intel has said again and again that it was targeting late 2021 for the launch of its 12th-generation Alder Lake processors, and launching them in November is certainly pushing it to the last minute. It's entirely possible that Intel won't be launching the processors on this date, but with all the leaks we've been seeing, it will probably be pretty soon. 

Analysis: leaks and more leaks

We've been seeing so many leaks cropping up for Alder Lake that this MSI leak is just a drop in the bucket. Just as this leak was appearing in our feeds, we saw a post on KitGuru that showed some CPU-Z benchmarks of the upcoming processors. And according to that leaked benchmark, the Core i9-12900K beats the Core i9-11900K by a whopping 21%, which means Intel might have a pretty good standing against AMD

But as with every time these processors leak ahead of their general availability it's worth noting that we don't know which will be accurate and which won't be. At this point it's probably pretty safe to assume that there are some of these chips out in the wild – especially with how the 11th-gen launch went. And, with how good the leaks are making Intel's new processors look, we can't imagine Team Blue is too worried about them either way. 

It's unlikely that we're going to see a new AMD Ryzen desktop lineup before 2022, so this really is Intel's chance to reclaim some of performance cred. After all, one of the things that was so rough about Intel's Rocket Lake lineup was that the move to the backported Ice Lake architecture on its 14nm node made performance take a bit of a backslide over its 10th-generation lineup. 

But if the leaks we've been seeing recently are any indication, it really looks like Intel has really pulled itself together, and we can't wait to see what these new chips can do. As always, though, we're going to have to wait until Intel unveils the chips, and who knows when that will actually happen – whether it will be November 4 or not. 

Jackie Thomas

Jackie Thomas is the Hardware and Buying Guides Editor at IGN. Previously, she was TechRadar's US computing editor. She is fat, queer and extremely online. Computers are the devil, but she just happens to be a satanist. If you need to know anything about computing components, PC gaming or the best laptop on the market, don't be afraid to drop her a line on Twitter or through email.